Wild Guardian Cam Talbot gets his first taste of preseason ice cream
But at 34, he learned that sometimes less is more. Especially in the preseason.
“You ask me that 7 or 8 years ago I would have answered differently,” said Talbot, entering his ninth season in the NHL. “Now it’s more of a build-up for me to manage my workload and that sort of thing until it really matters. Obviously I want to feel as good as possible before the start of the season. “
Heading into the Oct. 15 opener against the Anaheim Ducks, Talbot was ready for his first preseason preview Thursday night against the Colorado Avalanche. According to coach Dean Evason, the plan was for Talbot to play the first half of the game with teammate Andrew Hammond for the second half.
This is the first step for Talbot as he tries to consolidate his performances from last season. He finished with a 19-8-5 record, a 2.63 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage. He also helped the Wild push the Vegas Golden Knights to Game 7 in the first round of the playoffs.
Asked about his take on the preseason, Talbot praised the coaching staff for being open and honest with him.
“They kind of let me tell them how much I want to play and stuff like that,” Talbot said. “It’s always nice to know, before training camp and preseason, how to handle my workload on and off the ice. They have been wonderful. It’s good to be able to ramp up here and have some playing time. ”
Thursday’s preseason game in Colorado provided a big opportunity for young players like Matt Boldy and Adam Beckman. The two turned heads throughout training camp and appear to be neck and neck in the race for the final place on the roster.
Looking specifically at Boldy, he was to play alongside Freddy Gaudreau and face Kevin Fiala. Meanwhile, Beckman was scheduled to play alongside Joel Eriksson Ek and face Mats Zuccarello.
“This is a time when we expect people to start going their separate ways and making decisions for us that are difficult and / or easy by what they do and how they dictate play in games,” said Evason. “It’s one thing to assess the practice. Even when you practice, it’s hard, isn’t it? Yeah, they look good, and he pulls the puck really well, and he skates really well. But we don’t know until we get into a game. We try to get most of our real ratings from hockey games.
Sick green lane
Wild end Jordan Greenway was supposed to travel to Denver for Thursday’s game, but he stayed home to recover from a minor illness.
Asked about the decision to leave Greenway at home, Evason replied, “Just be careful.” He added that Greenway’s disease is unrelated to COVID.
“As soon as we hear it, it’s like ‘Ah damn. Here we go, ”Evason said. “Because we’ve been through it, haven’t we?” We went there and we did. You never know what’s going to happen. But of course, we don’t think this is out of the ordinary.